Shopping Maul said:
I think the difference here is the actual intentions of the filmmakers. For example if I have a problem with the Ewoks, a quick online search will show that Lucas was referencing the Vietnam war. Okay, that might not change my mind, but I can at least see where he was coming from and get a sense of the intention.
So with Rey I might be perplexed at her power levels and how that might clash with my sense of SW canon. If I hit Google what I’ll find is Kathleen Kennedy banging on about ‘strong female characters’. Ewoks as a Vietnam allegory makes sense to me. Palpatine as Nixon makes sense to me. Rey being superwoman because ‘strong female characters’ is nonsense. That’s not storytelling being inspired by politics. That’s politics subsuming storytelling.
I think you’re misunderstanding the phrase and what it means. I’d also be curious to see those Kennedy quotes as I’m not sure what you’re referring too.
When Rey and Kylo face off for a round two of TLJ, Rey wins off-screen. We have one character effortlessly beating the other twice,
I don’t have a problem with the rest of your post (some of it I agree, some agree to disagree), but this is just plain inaccurate. Rey does not win off screen. They come to a draw with the lightsaber and she runs away while Kylo’s knocked out. That’s not her “beating” him. As for the other win, it clearly was not “effortless,” as she was on the ropes before she used the force.
Although she may have not knocked Kylo out, she was the first one to wake up (or she never said awake the whole time). Regardless Rey was stronger and was awake where Kylo was knocked out. Had she wanted she could have killed him right then and there (and I wonder why the story didn’t lean in on this). That sounds to me like beating.
That’s, frankly, insane. We’re now equating “waking up first” and “not murdering someone in cold blood” with “effortlessly beating someone in battle”? Just like Rey, Luke ran away from Vader in ESB - and he wasn’t even knocked out! Does that mean Luke beat him?
This really gets down to the meat of what we were talking about earlier, in regards to incorrectly evaluating Rey by mere action film standards. Rey’s goal in the throne room was not to kill Kylo. Her goal was to turn him to her side. She didn’t win at all, she literally lost.
You admit that the assumed genre of the movie has a lot to do with whether Rey has won or lost in this scene, yet in the same breath you say that the action genre interpretation is ‘insane’ - a genre that is heavily infused into Star Wars DNA.
From the pure drama or romantic drama interpretation, Rey has definitely lost this fight.
From the pure action interpretation, Rey has at least matched Kylo if not bested him in her recovery.
At the very least, you must admit that the scene sends mixed messages depending on interpretation.
No. Even if this were an action movie the interpretation would be wrong. Rey’s goal is not to kill Kylo, action movie or not. The issue is not genre but people assuming things about the genre - in this case that conflicts are only about who physically bests the other, or that Rey’s motivation is to kill Kylo because that’s the common action hero motivation.
Even in that regard, it’s weird to come away saying that the film is showing Rey is stronger when I feel like the scene is trying really hard to say that they’re perfectly matched? Having the physical capacity to not be knocked out as long is not particularly remarkable, and likely happens off screen so that it isn’t remarked upon. The fact that fans have read into this that she’s beaten Kylo again is what’s insane to me when the film seems to be working to actively not suggest this.
As for “mixed messages,” A scene can accomplish multiple things. Just because Rey has failed her mission doesn’t mean it’s a mixed message that she didn’t also get beat up by Kylo.
BTW, there is no comparison to Luke in ESB. Luke was battered, literally disarmed, beaten, and emotionally shattered. He survived by the thinnest of margins and the scars of the battle, both literal and emotional, dominated the rest of the movie and beyond. Rey is back to her peppy self literally the next time we see her, lending credence to the pure action interpretation of the confrontation.
Kylo’s just fine too, no? Even though he’s been supposedly beaten? The “first” time Rey beat him, he seemed pretty fucked up. Why not this time?
The comparison isn’t to say that they’re exactly the same, just to show why the specific claim of “getting away = beating” is silly. But there is some validity to the comparison. It’s hard to imagine Rey’s failure with Kylo won’t be a part of IX (as for her part in the final scenes of TLJ, there was certainly room for improvement). On the other side of things, let’s not forget Luke essentially did beat Vader. Vader’s mission was to capture Luke and turn him to the dark side, and he failed on both accounts (with the consolation being knocking Luke down a peg and successfully putting some existential doubt in his head).